The Attorney General of Australia Mr. George Brandis QC called on the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh . On behalf of Government of India and on his personal behalf, Shri Rajnath Singh extended hearty congratulations to the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia Mr. Malcolm Turnbull.
The two leaders reviewed the existing cooperation between the two countries in the field of security, terrorism, narcotics, forensic technology and immigration. Shri Rajnath Singh emphasized the need for establishment of new channels of interaction, networks and strategic alliances between the two countries which are strong, secular and multi- cultural democracies. He said that these relations have been strengthened by regular exchange of visits at Ministerial level and India attaches great importance to the relations with Australia.
Shri Rajnath Singh mentioned that bilateral strategic partnership has evolved considerably during the recent years and India appreciates strong commitment of Australia to the India Australian Strategic Partnership. The two countries have close co-operation on security matters and are committed in particular to closely fight the organized crime and terrorism .
The Union Home Minister mentioned that the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons and MoU on Combating Narcotics Trafficking and Developing Police Cooperation between the two countries has further strengthened the mutual partnership. He mentioned that the bilateral security cooperation and collaboration between the security agencies of the two countries can be further enhanced.
The Union Home Minister mentioned that the illegal trafficking in narcotics drugs is a menace to humanity. A closer interaction between the nodal drug law enforcement agencies, exchange of information on various aspects of illegal drug trafficking and learning from each others experience will deepen the co-operation in the field of combating illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, he added.
Shri Rajnath Singh stated that India and Australia can develop fruitful cooperation between the two countries in the areas of forensic science and surveillance equipments. There can be increased exchange of experts to gain knowledge and experience, he added. Shri Rajnath Singh further said that the capacity building programmes in forensic science is another area of interest for the two countries.
The Attorney General of Australia mentioned that the two countries enjoy very good and close relationship and the government, private sector and civil society of Australia holds the Indian leadership in high esteem. He also mentioned that the former Prime Minister of Australia Mr. Tony Abbott and the present Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull are admirers of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the negotiations between the two countries are expected to bring our relationship further closer.
Mr. George Brandis QC also highlighted the issues relating to strategic cooperation and mentioned that the 21st century belongs to the Indo-Pacific Strategic Cooperation. Referring to different MoUs between the two countries, the visiting leader mentioned that the MoUs between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Indian National Security Guard (NSG) and the AFP and National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India need to be finalized expeditiously. He was looking forward to meaningful exchange between the two countries and extended an invitation to the Union Home Minister to visit Australia.
Shri Rajnath Singh mentioned that there is a need for an umbrella agreement on Security Cooperation between the two countries under which the above mentioned two security MoUs can also be processed. The Union Home Minister also thanked the Australian Attorney General for extending the invitation and mentioned that the intimation to the Australian authorities in this regard will be conveyed in due course.
Secretary, Attorney General’s Department, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian High Commissioner in India and senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs attended the meeting.